By Ryan T. Porter
Sometimes a girl just can’t find a thing to wear. That’s how drag queen Enza Anderson felt about choosing an outfit for the Canadian Alliance’s upcoming all-candidates leadership debate.
Anderson is still scrambling to snag last minute nominations, verifying her candidacy in the Alliance’s leadership race. With the deadline for candidate nominations on Thursday, Jan. 31, things are tense in the Enza camp.
But in the fashion co-ordination department, Anderson is way ahead of the pack. For advice, Anderson has turned to Ryerson’s School of Fashion, offering a $100 honorarium to the fashion student who can design her dream dress.
“The whole idea is to look fabulous,” Anderson confides over coffee. “It’s all about the photo op. The first thing they’re going to do is put the picture up before they put the words up. You want to draw attention and once you’ve got them hooked, they’ll start listening to you.”
Anderson has been attracting mainstream media attention since Toronto’s 2000 municipal election when, out of 26 candidates including eventual winner Mel Lastman, she nailed third place.
Anderson has found the political spotlight filled with surprising similarities to her days growing up in the drag community. “Just think of going to a drag show and seeing the drag queens duel it out in a contest. A lot of them are congratulating each other, and meanwhile, they’re going, gagghhhh,” Anderson says, her finger down her throat.
“It’s the same concept with bitter politicians. They’re fighting to get attention for themselves.”
With Alliance members accused of expressing homophobic views, the party might seem an odd host for Anderson’s flaming persona. But Anderson’s campaign strategy is more than just fake boobs and boas.
“I’m sincere in what I do, but I’m an opportunist,” Anderson says.
“It’s in the Alliance party that you can do this. The Alliance has a one-member, one vote system, where each member in the Alliance has a vote to select the leader.”
If Anderson has the nominations needed by Jan. 31, she’ll lead her campaign to a nationally televised all-candidates debate, scheduled to appear Feb. 14 on CBC Newsworld. However, Anderson says the honorarium will be given and the dress commissioned even if she doesn’t win a nomination. Anderson also pledges to display the dress on her website, www.enza.ca.
While Anderson encourages the creativity of Ryerson’s designers, she also has her own ideas for a dream dress.
“It’s got to be shimmery, it’s got to show a lot of leg, a nice curvature around the ass… oh, sorry, tush. It’s got to look slimming. This queen’s putting on a little weight. If they can hide the weight, then they’re true fashion designers.”
Fashion Union president Julia Che thinks it would be challenging to design a dress for Enza. “I knows she has nice legs, but I don’t know about the arms, I don’t know if she has boobs…”
Enza’s respond? “Honey, we can put those in.”
Applicants are asked to submit an illustration a technical drawing including measurements, and, optionally, a swatch of fabric. Submissions can be delivered to Julia Che’s mailbox in the fashion lounge or submitted electronically at Julia_che@hotmail.com
The deadline is Feb. 1, and the judging will be conducted the same day by the contest’s organizer Bante Minnema, campaign manager Ian Ross and, of course, the “supermodel” herself, Enza Anderson. For ideas about Enza Anderson’s physique or how you can boost her campaign, visit www.enza.ca.